There’s a million things that I should have been doing today but didn’t. I still have unpacking to do, paperwork to get through and a book to finish editing, yet it was one of those cool, baby blue sky days in Florida. Most days here are beautiful but today was a bit different. We’ve gotten a “cold snap” as they say here, but what it really is is a morning that starts out at 53 degrees with an afternoon high of 78. Yes, that’s a Florida cold snap! Heat on in the morning and the A/C back on by dinner.
And I love it.
So I decided to embrace this spectacular day of beautiful weather. I sat on my lanai enjoying the cool breeze and the warm sunshine, chatting with the neighbors who walk by now and then. My brain kept telling me to get things done but my soul was telling me that I was doing exactly what I needed to get done: nothing. And as I truly believe, it’s those moments when we think we’re doing “nothing” that we’re actually doing “everything.”
We’re stopping to smell the roses. We’re embracing the wonder of a beautiful day. We’re basking in the breeze and warm sunshine. We’re allowing our mind to slow down. We’re taking care of our mind, body and soul.
“Dolce Far Niente: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing.”
It’s been almost four weeks since I moved to Florida and what an adventure it’s been! On day 11 Hurricane Ian hit and as I picked up my parents to evacuate to my brother’s house on the East Coast I couldn’t help but think: “Why am I here?”
I had just moved down here and very little was unpacked. I spent 3 nights at my brother’s house and worried every single moment I was there. Was the house I just moved into going to be in one piece? How long would the power be out? What would this beautiful town look like?
I picked up my parents on Tuesday and I can’t even begin to describe the conditions I drove through for five hours to get us all to safety. I’ve lived through many Jersey Shore storms but this one was different. The tornado warning alert was going off on my phone, walls of water came up over the car and I swear that at one point I felt as though the front of my car had lifted off the road. It was one of the scariest ordeals I had ever been through but happy to say, we got to the East Coast of Florida in one piece.
My brother and sister in law made us feel welcome and it was good to spend time with them. We constantly watched the news and social media for any updates on the area. It looked like complete devastation for many while others suffered minimal damage.
We packed my car on Friday and drove back to see what, if anything, was left of our homes. My parents house suffered only minimal damage and next it was time to drive to the house that I called home for just 11 days.
I pulled onto my street and saw my house: a broken screen, some cosmetic bricks fallen to the ground, and a missing gutter. That was it. I remember walking into the house and literally falling to my knees in gratitude coupled with tears of sheer joy. My house was fine and I knew at that moment that I would be too.
There are still moments I wonder why I’m here, but they are becoming far and few between. I know I’m here for a reason and with each day that passes, I find another reason why.